25 Jul 2019

Warming seas may imperil Pacific reef fish

7:17 am on 25 July 2019
Fiji's former oceans representative, Taholo Kami

Fiji's former oceans representative, Taholo Kami Photo: PMN / Lisa Williams

A regional environmentalist says temperature rise could leave equatorial Pacific countries without their main protein source.

Taholo Kami is calling for more research into how much temperature change reef fish can sustain.

The Fiji Government's former Oceans Representative said it is known that coral reefs are imperilled by the warming ocean but little is known about the impact on reef fish.

Mr Kami said as seas warm, tropical marine species will move towards the poles.

"What does this mean in terms of, not just our pelagic fishery, but our local fishery?" he asked.

"We talk quite easily about saying we're going to lose quite a large percentage of our coral reefs but we haven't matched that to, what does that mean to the food that we eat, to the livelihoods of our coastal communities?"